Road Bike Maintenance

How to: Repair an inner tube

We’ve already dealt with how to replace an inner tube, but if you’re like us, you’ll have a drawer full of punctured inner tubes crying out to be repaired. Grab a cup of tea, empty that drawer and prepare to channel the Blue Peter inside of you.

Tools needed:

Puncture repair kits vary, but the essentials include: crayon, sandpaper, patches and glue.

1 x puncture repair kit (including crayon, sandpaper, patches and glue)

1 x floor pump

How to:

  1. Use the pump to inflate the punctured inner tube.
  2. Locate the puncture on the inner tube by either listening for the air escaping or by placing it in water to watch for bubbles rising from the hole. Alternative methods include, holding it close to your eye so you can feel air escaping from the smallest of punctures.
  3. Once the puncture has been located, check for any objects that may be stuck in the tube. Remove to ensure they don’t create another puncture.
  4. With the crayon, mark the spot where the puncture is. Release the air from the inner tube.
  5. Check size of hole in the inner tube to gauge correct size of patch, go large if you’re in doubt.
  6. Take sandpaper and gently roughen the surface around the hole.
  7. Apply a drop of the tyre glue and use your finger to spread it thinly over a 2cm area around the hole.
  8. Allow glue to dry and repeat step 7, remember to let the glue dry completely.
  9. Peel the backing foil from the patch, being careful not to touch the sticky adhesive surface. If there is cellophane backing on patch, this can be left on.
  10. Place the patch on the puncture so that the hole is in the centre of the patch. Press it firmly into place.
  11. Leave the patch a couple of hours for the glue to cure.
  12. Once the patch has adhered, give the area a dusting with chalk or talcum powder as this will help to prevent it from sticking to the inside of your tyre.


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